District recall talk of Tuesday
June 2, 2009
TAHOE CITY ” In front of a crowd of 50 or so Tuesday morning, Olympic Valley resident Robert Mowris presented his reasoning for launching a recall effort against three members of the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District Board of Trustees.
Mowris spoke to Tahoe City’s First Tuesday Breakfast Club at Granlibakken Resort. The petition he spoke to is one which advocates for the recall of Kristy Olk, Bev Ducey and Bill Kraus from the school district’s five-member board.
He criticized the board for their reconfiguration of the lakeside schools, which includes the transformation of Kings Beach Elementary from a K-5 elementary to a K-3 elementary which will only provide Spanish Two-Way Immersion instruction to its majority Latino population.
“I don’t know of any other immigrant community in the history of the United States where we’ve taught them in their own language,” Mowris said. “It’s sort of like reverse racism.”
Mowris said the Two Way Immersion program had extremely low English proficiency scores and needed an overhaul to better serve the Kings Beach community. He also pointed to the school district’s low math test scores, saying the reconfiguration does nothing to improve upon those scores.
Steve Jennings, school district superintendent, also spoke at the meeting Tuesday. He said the reconfiguration would assist the school district in enacting their educational model ” a model which creates teams of administrators and teachers in the same subject areas known as professional learning communities.
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“We’re approaching everything with our educational model in mind,” Jennings said. “We’ve made sure any cuts or adjustments we’ve made compliment that educational model.”
He said the professional learning communities are specifically geared to addressing the achievement gap between the school districts English native students and English learner students ” a gap that is one of California’s biggest.
He also said the high achieving students will receive more enrichment under the professional learning communities model, while struggling students’ weaknesses are analyzed and a lesson plan is tailored as an intervention to make up for deficiencies.
After reading Wednesday’s article, “School recall talk of Tuesday,” Robert Mowris asked that one point be corrected that was highlighted from his presentation: “the Hispanic and English Learner students had extremely low English proficiency scores …” He was quoted as attributing the low English scores to Two Way Immersion students. We regret the error.